In a world where technological advancements are transforming various aspects of our lives, Oliver Mathias ‘21, Chapman University business major and computer science minor, has harnessed the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to create Breakup Buddy, an innovative app designed to assist individuals in navigating the challenging journey of heartbreak. In a candid interview, Oliver shared his journey, inspirations, and vision behind his app.
Mathias always possessed an affinity for creating projects and nurturing entrepreneurial ideas. About four months ago, his hard work culminated in the release of Breakup Buddy, a unique toolkit aimed at aiding individuals in overcoming the pains of a breakup while facilitating their healing process.
Mathias humorously shared the story behind the creation of Breakup Buddy, which stemmed from a previous app project that revolved around locking away pictures of ex-partners. Realizing that this solution merely scratched the surface of the breakup problem, he decided to develop something that digs deeper.
“It was always in the back of my mind…it’s not really solving the problem of a breakup…then just before the launch of that my girlfriend and I at the time broke up,” Mathias shared with laughter, “and so I thought this is perfect, I could work on something that I think will really solve the problem…and walk you through how to get better.”
Inspired by the advancements in Large Language Models (LLMs), Oliver found a perfect opportunity to create an app that could simulate human conversation and guide users through customized exercises. Breakup Buddy became a virtual space offering solace, encouragement and tailored support during the healing process.
Mathias acknowledged the significant role played by LLMs, specifically the GPT-3.5 model developed by OpenAI, in enabling Breakup Buddy’s conversational capabilities. LLMs provided an affordable and efficient solution for mimicking human conversation, allowing the app to interactively guide users based on their specific situations. While Mathias emphasized that LLMs are not perfect and have limitations in long-term context retention, he expressed his commitment to continually improving Breakup Buddy’s core conversation abilities.
The reception of Breakup Buddy has exceeded Mathias’ expectations. Users have expressed gratitude and offered valuable feedback on how the app has positively impacted their healing process. Mathias shared a particularly memorable review where someone claimed Breakup Buddy was better than their therapist. Although he modestly advised seeking professional help when necessary, he was thrilled to witness the positive responses and is committed to incorporating user feedback to enhance the app’s effectiveness further.
Looking ahead, Mathias envisions Breakup Buddy evolving into an ultimate companion for individuals experiencing heartbreak. He envisions a companion that constantly reminds users that things will be okay, offers exercises to facilitate healing, and provides unwavering support during challenging times. Furthermore, Mathias strives to continuously refine and enhance Breakup Buddy, with a personal motivation to create an even better version of the app should he encounter another breakup in the future.
“It’s been a great process…I’m over my own breakup, but to be able to help other people is really awesome to hear their responses and feedback.”
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